Park Rapids Area Century School resides in a northern Minnesota resort town, and the community environment was a key concern during planning and design.
The facility’s gym and main concourse are sized to accommodate conventions. In addition, the building is zoned so either the elementary or middle school wings can be opened for public use.
The building’s exterior CAPACITY1,350COST PER SQ FT$100.67FEATURED IN2003 Educational Interiors2003 Architectural PortfolioINTERIOR CATEGORYCommon Areas designed in keeping with the Minnesota “north woods” image and relates to the greater environment. Durable, easily maintained finishes, such as brick, burnished block and terrazzo, were used.
A key planning goal was the separation of elementary and middle school students. The plan maintains separate environments for the two groups as much as possible.
The elementary wing serves grades K to 4; each grade (including kindergarten) has its own house.
The middle school wing serves grades 5 to 8 and is composed of a fifth-grade house, a sixth-grade house, and three houses shared by grades 7 and 8.
Flexible team-learning areas with demountable partitions are situated at the end of the house. They help to minimize disruptions for the students.
All classrooms, as well as otherinternal parts of the facility, receive natural light. The building’s internal classrooms have clerestory windows or light monitors to bring light into the spaces.